Home Latest News Imran Khan Calls Off Dharna

Imran Khan Calls Off Dharna

by AFP
Aamir Qureshi—AFP

Aamir Qureshi—AFP

PTI chief says ending protest is ‘need of the hour’ as Pakistan mourns Taliban attack on Peshawar school.

Opposition leader Imran Khan on Wednesday called off a four-month long protest movement to topple the government following the massacre of nearly 150 people by the Taliban at a school in Peshawar.

His announcement came a day ahead of his party’s planned nationwide shutdown intended to force Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to resign and for his government to conduct an impartial inquiry into allegations of fraud in the 2013 elections. Khan told supporters outside Parliament that ending the 126-day vigil was the “need of the hour” as Pakistan mourned the loss of 148 people, including 132 students killed in Tuesday’s attack.

“We are backing off right now from our protest because it is need of the hour. I thank the women, the children, the youth and everyone for participating in our movement,” he said. Khan said his movement, which began in August in Islamabad but later spread nationwide, had helped the party in its campaign for a judicial commission to review last year’s elections, which local and foreign observers rated as credible.

But he warned that he might revive the protests if his demands were not met. “If required we will come back out on streets,” he said.

Khan, who heads the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, joined hands with populist cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri in August to march on Parliament. On Sept. 1, protesters briefly occupied the state broadcaster, triggering fevered speculation the Army may intervene as it had in the past. But Qadri’s supporters left the movement in October while Khan switched to holding protests across the country’s major cities.

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Naila December 18, 2014 - 2:52 pm

It wouldn’t have been an easy decision at all. Imran Khan has struggled all of his life to reach where he is today. Calling off Azadi Dharna at its peak says volumes about his statesmanship. He has proved that he is a true leader not a job seeker. He has proved that he doesn’t only preach others to ‘Eliminate their Ego’ but is man enough to step forward and teach ‘How” by setting a personal example too. Imran has grown taller and taller with each passing day, and with this decision he has set very high standards of morality in Pakistan’s politics. He has emerged as a Icon, that history can never ignore.

skhasanainphy December 19, 2014 - 12:32 am

If we are talking about the same person (Imran Khan) then before raving about his statesmanship let us also recall that in the not-too-distant past (actually a few weeks back) he was criticizing the decision to launch the military operation against these savages; he was opposed to the Swat opeartion; he lamented that Hakeemullah Mehsud and other terrorists were killed in drone attacks; he never raised a single word of protest when the ANP leaders and workers were being butchered by the taliban in the run up to the elections since they (the taliban) understandably gave him a free run. No madam, I am afraid this is a very sick and individual or one with a very limited understanding of the nature of religious terrorists ad their aims. Even after the terrible tragedy in Peshawar he does not say a single word about how his party and chief minister who are supposed to e running the KPK province will play their role in fighting these monsters.


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